Belfast Telegraph

Clarke targets that winning feeling against Blues

 

Reunion time: Linfield’s Megan Bell is challenged by Glentoran’s Ali McMaster during their last meeting in September
Reunion time: Linfield’s Megan Bell is challenged by Glentoran’s Ali McMaster during their last meeting in September

By Jonathan Martin

League leaders Glentoran play defending champions Linfield in the stand-out fixture of tonight's Danske Bank Women's Premiership games.

Glentoran sit top of the table after three games and will host Linfield at the Ulidia Playing Fields on the Ormeau Road.

The Glens will be playing their home games at the venue as The Oval is unavailable until the end of July.

Last week, the Glens dropped their first league points of the season in a 2-2 draw away to Sion Swifts while Linfield defeated Crusaders 2-0.

A win for the Blues could see them leapfrog Glentoran and go top of the table if other results go in their favour.

Glens manager Billy Clarke knows the importance of getting back to winning ways.

"Its very important, when points are dropped your next game is the most important one. It's vitally important to win your home games," said Clarke.

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"We are looking three points from the Linfield game.

"Last week was frustrating against Sion, we were 2-0 up and we let Sion back into the game.

"It was a great game. Overall, Sion probably felt that a draw was a fair result.

"After being 2-0 up midway through the second half it's disappointing we didn't hold out.

"There's not many teams go down there and get a draw. Sion are a very good side."

Clarke has huge respect for the reigning champions.

"Its always special playing at home to the league champions. Linfield are always going to be a challenge, I will never write them off," he added.

"As far as I am concerned, Linfield will be the team to beat come the end of the season.

"We aim to be challenging alongside them, Sion and Cliftonville. At Glentoran we aren't paying attention to people saying we are favourites.

"Linfield are the current league champions.

"Looking back at our matches with Linfield last year they were all pretty close, there was just a single goal between us in most of the games.

"We'll be back to full strength this week after missing a few for the trip to Sion last week. We have prepared well for the fixture and hope things go our way."

Elsewhere, fourth-placed Sion Swifts welcome second-placed Cliftonville to the north west.

The Reds come into this fixture with two wins from their opening games and are yet to concede a league goal.

The Swifts will also be confident of a victory after defeating Linfield in the League Cup last week and holding Glentoran to a 2-2 draw.

In the other fixture of the evening, the bottom two sides will meet as Comber Rec welcome Derry City to County Down.

It has been a difficult start to the season for both sides with both pointless and yet to register a goal.

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